Wayne County admits problem with Sheriff's gas cards

Audit shows no records, receipts of what Sheriff's Department spends on gas

Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:08:39 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 13 2013 07:17:05 PM EST
DETROIT -

Wayne County's audit committee heard details of the auditor general's peak inside the Sheriff's Office vehicle program books.

They found a bare cupboard. There are no records of receipts and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on take-home vehicles.

View: Sheriff vehicles fleet report

Local 4 was first to report earlier this year about the Sheriff Department's BP gasoline cards getting shut off three separate times because of unpaid bills. That forced the Sheriff's vehicles to drive from downtown Detroit to top off at a maintenance yard near Metro Airport in Romulus.

"By and large, we agree with what is in the audit. We have deficiencies. We recognize it and have put some things in place to organize some things to address these," said Sue Hall, Wayne County Sheriff's office administrator.

Hall said receipts exist, they're just not organized. She did admit someone bought one candy bar with their taxpayer-provided credit card. The auditor general says there is no way to know if that's true.

Commissioner Ilona Varga called Hall's explanation no help.

"No, it isn't better because it seems like there is chaos in the department. No one keeps any records," Varga said.

Commissioner Ray Basham still can't believe what's going on but hopes change is on its way.

"The only thing I can say relative to county government is you can't make this stuff up," he said. "But that's what audits are for, to try to get issues corrected, try to find deficiencies to make sure we can improve the process."

This was the first time this program ever was audited. Commissioners tell Local 4 that considering the county's financial troubles it's not likely this audit will be the last.